Hi all! I have spent the past few days playing with water droplet photos and think I have finally got it down, so I would like to share how to do it!
Things you need:
Container almost full of water (preferably something clear or black)
White paper for background or tie dye background
Paper bathroom cup or medicine dropper
Desk lamp (only needed if you are doing a tie dye background)
So you are going to take your container with water in it and put it in front of either your white background (great if you want black and white droplet photos), or your tie dye photos (great if you want some color. See examples below). Take the desk lamp, point it at the background to light it up if you are using a colored background.
Tie Dye background:
Set your camera about a foot from the container, and about 6 inches above so your lens in angled down to the container. This will give you a better angle to work with and will reduce the chance of getting the front lip of the container in the photo.
Set your camera to remote mode so that you can fire away but not have to be attached to the camera. This is important because you need a free hand to make the droplets.
If you are using a paper bathroom cup, poke a small hole in the bottom using a pen. Adjust the size to increase droplet frequency as you go. If you are using the dropper, put water in it and test it out by squeezing to a rhythm to see how much pressure you need for drops.
Settings for the camera:
Fstop 9-11 (anywhere in this range usually works well)
Flash should be on low power 1/32 or 1/64 to catch the droplets in action
Now, stick a pen above the water where you intend for the drops to land. Put your camera on manual focus, look through the viewfinder, and focus on the pen above the water. Place the tip of the pen no more than half an inch above the surface.
Now you are ready to start snapping away! You can either pick a rhythm for the droplets, (press the button on the remote just as the drop falls from the dropper or cup to get the splash), or you can hold the button so the camera fires a few frames off if you are having trouble with the other method.
For a bigger splash and better shots, hold the dropper/cup about a foot above the water. This will make it a little harder to make the drop land where you want it to, but after a few tries, you will get it.
Don't be discouraged if you don't get a lot of shots in focus. I took over 200 the other day and got six that were good. It's a tough thing to do, but once you get used to it and makes tweaks as necessary, it will become easier.
Here are a few of the shots I got over the last few days:
If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment here or on my Facebook page: